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BEA Wrap-Up: Back, Exhausted, Apologies

Dear Readers,


We are back in NYC, exhausted from the BEA festivities, and send you our sincere apologies for not writing more after the last two days of BookExpo. I hope to make it up to you now with some juicy tidbits from those final hours in the L.A. Convention Center…


Saturday was like Friday before it—until night fell. While we were politely attending (and enjoying!) the BEA Cares charity fundraiser, which featured stand-up comedy by Lewis Black (his new book, Me of Little Faith, just launched today), thieves entered the AbbeBooth and could not resist the entirely too-tempting new cover for 80 Years of the Oscar. They purloined that fine tome, perhaps not realizing that it was a rare and now out-of-stock copy of 75 Years of the Oscar wrapped with a new cover design. It brought back memories of BEA in New York last year, when some unscrupulous fiend snatched our rare older edition of Bulgari…Ah, what people will resort to for the love of a fabulous book!


Sunday unfolded as an anticlimax to an otherwise-busy long weekend. Most attendees had already left to return home for work Monday, and they left everyone else wondering why BookExpo runs three days instead of two. Sundays are only busy whenever BEA is in New York, so next year, back at Jacob Javits Center, Sunday should be exceptionally busy once more.


The main source of excitement Sunday came from ForeWord magazine’s visit to our booth. They came bearing awards for four Abbeville 2007 books:


The History of Venice in Painting (edited by Georges Duby and Guy Lobrichon): GOLD, Art 

Giuseppe Panza: Memories of a Collector (by Giuseppe Panza): SILVER, Autobiography/Memoir 

Travels With Van Gogh and the Impressionists: Discovering the Connections (by Lin Arison with photography by Neil Folberg): SILVER, Travel Essays 

Fathering Your School Age Child (by Armin A. Brott): HONORABLE MENTION, Parenting


Then it was time to pack up the booth—until next year. We’ll have more then from BEA 2009, here in the Big Apple!


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BEA Continued

Arbiter of Style Austin here, writing from New York—it seems that by Saturday, our brave correspondents Erin and Michaelann disappeared entirely into the whirlwind of signings, awards, dinosaur finger puppets, juice, cookies, and of course, fantastic books that was this year’s BookExpo America. And who can blame them? They are traveling today, but will return triumphantly tomorrow with a BEA wrap-up post (and some leftover mint chocolates for our office). In the meantime, thanks to both of them for their excellent coverage of the craziness on Thursday and Friday, and we hope you enjoyed our first foray into live blogging!

P.S. Note the tags for the last two posts: we are blatantly trying to attract anyone who might be searching the Web for “dinosaur finger puppets.” Whoever you people are, we want you as our readers.

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BEA: The First Day

500 India-inspired messenger bags, 300 T-shirts, 150 signed copies of Father for Life, and dozens of dinosaur finger puppets and posters equal giveaway-happy BEA attendees and exhausted Abbevillains! We had a very full and successful opening day at BEA, and we certainly did our part to contribute to the mad hunt for the best conference giveaways. Our India bags were a huge hit, with one woman calling them the prettiest bags she’s seen in 18 BEAs! Bags are the essential, perhaps the ULTIMATE BEA giveaway for 3 reasons: 1. bags hold giveaways; 2. bags are walking advertisements; and 3. bags hold giveaways (seriously, that bears repeating—BEA turns everyone into bag ladies. Everyone eyes everyone else’s bags to see if any bag is nice enough to track down, and our quality bags led many people to our booth).

The big event at the AbbeBooth today was New Father series author Armin Brott‘s arrival and book signing. With Father’s Day around the corner, many folks were thrilled to meet Armin and pick up a personalized copy of Father for Life. We ran out, but Armin will be back to sign more tomorrow. Perhaps the most exciting part of Armin’s book signing was author Richarde Louv‘s visit. The author of Father Love and, more recently, The Last Child in the Woods, Louv inspired Armin to also research and write about—and for—fathers. These new-age dads swapped books and stories while their shared publicist, Meg Parsont, reflected on Brott and Louv’s collective three decades of fatherhood publishing. The BEA warm-and-fuzzy reunions continued when Meg turned around to see fellow publicist Jeany Wolf, who is representing our forthcoming Daughters of India book.

So beyond the bags and other freebies, BEA offers professionals from all sides of the publishing industry a chance to hob nob and swap business cards. Writers came by hawking book proposals and sample chapters. Printers and suppliers stopped in to get in touch with our production manager. Reviewers and book buyers visited to check out our forthcoming books and get on our catalog mailing lists. And our publishing and editorial staff had meetings with foreign publishers and other industry professionals galore literally until the lights flicked off in the convention center!

Then it was off to flag a cab—no mean feat in downtown Los Angeles, let me tell you—for the Abbevillains attending the Independent Publisher Book Awards ceremony. Our winners:

GOLD MEDAL (parenting): Fathering Your School-Age Child: The Wonder Years, 3-9; by Armin A. Brott

SILVER MEDAL (coffee table book): Bulgari, 2nd edition; by Daniela Mascetti & Amanda Triossi

BRONZE MEDAL (photography): Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists: Discovering the Connections; text by Lin Arison, photography by Neil Folberg

All very exciting! Not sure how we ended up with one medal of each type, but that makes for a nice collection. That’s all the news fit (or unfit) to print for now. Tune in tomorrow to hear about our juice-and-cookies Abbeville Family fun and gift basket drawing! For more on our BEA events, click here.

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Live Blogging @ BEA

And let the live-blogging commence! Your blogging editorial assistant-publicist here for our first Abbeville Press BookExpo America blog posting. Today was the Show setup (for those less in-tune to the inner happenings of the book publishing industry, the Show refers to BookExpo America or BEA, the biggest, craziest American book publishing event of the year (yes I said crazy! What do you think we do here?? Sit around the Los Angeles Staples Center and read?? No! Giveaways, autographing, and events abound—I for one will be hitting up the Cookbook Expo)).

So yes, you read correctly, this year we’ve headed to L.A., to set up shop until Sunday at a rocking booth at the Staples Center (and no! FYI there is not a actual Staples store in the venue). So I would post pictures but the booth was in quite a disarray today during setup and to be honest we were too sweaty to consider posting our mugs on the internet. But lots of pictures of the beautiful booth and its many neat features will be posted tomorrow! We will try to live blog in the booth during doubtful-downtime but, if not, rest assured my colleague, managing editor Erin, will fill you in on the characters that stopped by the booth and the anticipated boxing match between Random House and HarperCollins.

To recap the day, we unpacked boxes, unpacked more boxes and then rolled things. We rolled posters, Abbeville Family Shirts (I plan on turning mine into a dress on Sunday!), and more posters. So the day went pretty smoothly! To check out what we’ll be up to tomorrow when the show starts, click here (the Abbeville Press events page).

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The Abbeville Manual Goes to BEA

After we welched on our promise to provide commentary on this year’s College Art Association conference, we felt…wait, what’s the word again? Right, “humble.” In order to atone for our lapse, we made another promise to our readers: extra-special coverage of the 2008 BookExpo America conference. And this time we’re coming through, folks.

During BEA, which runs this Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1, two of our Arbiters of Style will be on the scene in L.A., providing live coverage of the biggest annual publishing event in the country. Now, when you’re in the business of making expert style judgements, typically you want to take your time dispensing your priceless pearls of wisdom. And yet for book fiends like us, BEA is such an adrenaline rush that we think it’ll be fun to write about it in the moment—to make you see all those new books, smell their new bindings, feel the wind blowing from their pages as we flip through them.

So stay tuned! Arbiters of Style Erin and Michaelann will be our on-scene reporters, providing updates whenever they’re not making deals, charming customers, browsing shelves, showing off our books and website, and sneaking delicious mint chocolates from Abbeville‘s booth (#2233 if you happen to be attending). Arbiter of Style Austin will be back home in New York, following their posts and perhaps injecting occasional commentary of his own from time to time. Because he likes to do that sort of thing.


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